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Foam insulation on garage ceiling?

Hi, my daughter's room (which is above the garage) can get rather cold when the temperature dips drastically and I can notice that the carpet is cold when walking barefoot in the room. I was wondering what THD or other readers would suggest when it comes to insulating the garage below? The ceiling is drywall and most contractors I've talked to are reasonably sure that there is already fiberglass insulation up there. And I'd hate to have to rip out the drywall. My question is, would putting up rigid foam insulation be a good idea? I've heard that they are extremely flammable and that they shouldn't be used if left exposed. What recourse do I have and is there anything else that is similar that would get the job done but not light up my house? I may also want to put some on each of my garage door panels....

 

Thanks in advance!

John (aka racer)

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Posted 2013-01-03T18:41:17+0000  by racer racer
 

Hey racer.

 

I had a similar problem with my house. When I replaced my garage doors in my basement with the uninsulated metal garage doors, my basement got much colder. You can lose a great deal of your heat if your garage doors are uninsulated. 

 

The Home Depot sells garage door insulation kits. I would start by insulating the doors and see if that will do the job. I would also install the weather stripping for garage doors to help eliminate any drafts. 

 

The rigid foam panels are flammable and would not be a great option. I might cut a small hole somewhere discreet in the sheetrock on the ceiling to make sure that the ceiling is insulated. If it is not insulated then you could remove a piece of sheetrock between each floor joist, just big enough to blow in the insulation. The Home Depot sells this blow-in insulation and also rents the machine to blow it in.

 

If it is already insulated then you will not be able to blow in any insulation. Therefore at this point, the only other option would almost need to be a secondary heat source for the basement.

 

I think this would be your best bet. Hit me back here with your thoughts or any other questions.

Posted 2013-01-03T19:42:45+0000  by Ingar_HD_ATL

 

In my last two homes, I have added heaters to the garages  as the garage is also my workshop. A side benefit to having a heated work area is that the adjacent living areas become more comfortable as the common walls are no longer exposed to extreme cold temperatures.

 

Often garage ceilings will have long heat duct runs to supply the rooms up above. Such ducts can be subject to large heat loss due to the very cold area beneath. Heating that area reduces heat lose from those ducts.

 

Surprisingly, I never noticed a great increase in the heat bill. The garage heater can have a wall mounted thermostat installed and be kept at a relatively low temperature, except when actually being used. Also, the greatest percentage of radiant heat loss in a house is to the area above the ceiling. Since the space above ( i.e. your bedrooms) is already heated, unlike a cold attic, the heat loss upward is very little.

 

What type of heater to use depends on electric or gas prices in your area. Gas is usually more cost effective in the long run, but electric heater installation costs only  a fraction of a gas installation. The equipment is far cheaper and the installation is cheaper as there is no venting neccessary. An electrician can get the electric heater up and running in only a couple hours. Often the electric panel is located in the garage.

 

Gas or electric forced air heaters will be able to more rapidly bring up the temperature. Oil filled electric heaters provide a more constant , even heat.  A 15,000 BTU heater will provide plenty of heat for the average two car garage.

 

From a personal perspective, I can tell you that I certainly appreciate my heated garage come those woodworking projects or times when I want to paint some piece of furniture, etc. Frankly, I hardly ever brought my car in the garage, but when a super cold spell occurred, it was nice to have a warm car that would start without grinding down the battery! Oh how I remember that record -28 degree night in Chicago with 40mph winds!

 

Hope this has helped.

Posted 2013-01-07T05:12:28+0000  by ordjen
 
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